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Vesuvio Cafe

Dive Bar · North Beach
255 Columbus Ave (btwn Broadway and Pacific), San Francisco, CA 94133, United States
Open until 2:00 AM (Show more)
  • Mon–Sun
    • 6:00 AM–2:00 AM
Happy Hour
Beer, Wine, Full Bar, Cocktails
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. American Express)

Based on 503 votes

People like this place

  • On Do it Right: The 15 Best Authentic Places in SF
  • What you need to know
    Thom B.
    "upstairs back corner overlooking Columbus"(13 Tips)
    Rohini J.
    "Get the "Jack Kerouac" and their Anchor Steam IPA."(7 Tips)
    elizabeth S.
    "Nice people watching spot in North Beach."(6 Tips)
    Alex J.
    "Always get the recession special!"(6 Tips)
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  • Recent

105 tips and reviews.

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  • jack kerouac
  • upstairs
  • north beach
  • cocktails
  • lively
  • authentic
  • cozy
  • good for a late night
  • whiskey
  • people watching
  • beer
  • casual
  • scenic views
  • alcohol
  • happy hour
  • great value
  • bourbon
  • books
  • liquor
  • sweet tea
  • Pamela G.

    Grab a Dark&Stormy (rum&ginger beer- quite refreshing!) and grab a seat upstairs by the window for prime people watching on Columbus! Also, this place doesn't serve food but you CAN bring your own in!

    Pamela Gocobachi · May 29, 2013
  • Blaine G.

    Great stop on a SF visit from MPLS. Weird mix of crust punks, bohemians, and popped collar kids. If cabbing it, leave a bit before bar close or else have to compete with the strip clubs kitty corner.

    Blaine Garrett · September 13, 2010
  • nils j.

    Really neat place to sit and watch the tourists go by. Table service is something you don't usually see at a dive. Cool decorations, like an authentic version of what TGI Fridays wants to be.

    nils janson · November 16, 2014
  • Allison A.

    Amazing and unique and hums with the beatnik vibe. Loved sitting on the second floor with the windows flung open, people watching (both tourists outside and some rowdy characters inside!)

    Allison Abbott · June 29, 2015
  • Esquire

    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. No matter how many tourists drop in for a pint, it still feels as though it's full of locals. We recommend an Anchor Steam.

    Esquire · February 1, 2011
  • SF Weekly

    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick – Best Place to Hang Out with Strippers without Going to a Strip Club. Vesuvio is a great spot to get a drink or three at any hour, and if the... Read more

    SF Weekly · May 31, 2012
  • Elena B.

    Drinks are nothing special, but the atmosphere is very unique. Great for reading and having a drink solo in the afternoon, before it gets busy.

    Elena Baseotto · March 24, 2015
  • Cassie P.

    You can really sense the history walking into the bar. I would recommend sitting upstairs and hang out. Cool view of the entire restaurant.

    Cassie P · July 17, 2013
  • Michelle O.

    Atmosphere is always great here. Crowded yet cozy place to get away from the tourist traps of North Beach and enjoy a beer.

    Michelle O'Riordan · September 14, 2014
  • Bravo

    Bohemian bar next to City Lights Bookstore. Good place to see some of San Francisco's finest characters. -Laurine Wickett, Top Chef

    Bravo · January 27, 2010
  • Megan B.

    Grab an espresso, a classic beat read and people watch from the second floor of one of Jack Kerouac's old haunts.

    Megan Bannister · March 20, 2013
  • Jennifer M.

    Grab a table upstairs for a nice view of the bar and the streets below and enjoy a yummy Hendrick's Gin and tonic.

    Jennifer Minor · May 5, 2013
  • S D.

    A definite dive bar. I didnt see much of an art, bohemian crowd when I was there but I guess they were there in spirit.

    S D · August 13, 2015
  • BeersandBeans

    Try the Jack Keroac - The Jack Keroac special drink. Very tasty and a great vibe at this place! #bar #drinks

    BeersandBeans · March 9, 2013
  • Daria T.

    Probably the best place I've been in Frisco. And it feels sooo beat, if you know what I mean :) come here and enjoy ginger beer and dark rum in one cocktail!

    Daria Tomilova · November 19, 2013
  • Ed A.

    Try the Charlie sheen - shot and two beers (2.5 men) or the Tom Selleck - shot with three beers (3 men and a baby).

    Ed Aten · May 29, 2011
  • Aiden W.

    Nothing to do with the beats. Don't be a douche and you'll love it. Use a card for two beers and you'll rightly suffer.

    Aiden Wylie · August 14, 2012
  • Tom B.

    Go to Vesuvio Cafe- order a Kerouac (though not too many, they pack a punch) and enjoy the Beat Generation ambiance.

    Tom Bevilacqua · December 20, 2009
  • Amanda S.

    Great spot with an awesome beer selection. Second floor is perfect for small groups or date night!

    Amanda Scheerbaum · February 28, 2013
  • Jessica R.

    Old Beatnick hangout next to City Lights Bookstore in North Beach. Have a drink where Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassidy used to spend their evenings.

    Jessica Rae · September 3, 2013
  • AskMen

    Vesuvio is just dripping with history, and local characters can often be found holding court at the bar. Read more

    AskMen · September 9, 2011
  • Seema M.

    Grab a table upstairs. Great views of busy North Beach tourist traffic and pervert men going into nudie bars.

    Seema Maloni · March 3, 2013
  • Lindsay E.

    Jack Kerouac's old hangout and right next to City Lights. In the center of the Barbary Coast and SF's. Definitely feels old school and doesn't feel touristy.

    Lindsay Eyink · August 14, 2014
  • SFGate M.

    Open since 1948, it's where the Beats convened to quench their thirst. The upstairs nook might be the most perfect people-watching in North Beach.

    SFGate Manager · July 16, 2012
  • Thom B.

    The seat in the upstairs back corner overlooking Columbus is one of the best views in all SF

    Thom Butler · November 21, 2012
  • Yelena S.

    Our server was very much in a harry and did not help to chose a cocktail. Look it up in advance.

    Yelena Szatmary · July 16, 2013
  • kim m.

    Best bartenders and most interesting crowd (in a good way)

    kim milosevich · February 16, 2013
  • Heather T.

    Drink where Kerouac drank. Teetotallers welcome too: decent selection of tea, plus espresso drinks.

    Heather Terrell · November 18, 2013
  • Keegan Y.

    Great low-key bar! Cheap and good drinks, good music, and eclectic atmosphere and ambiance

    Keegan Y-V · November 2, 2010
  • elizabeth S.

    Fun two-story bar with cheap drinks and a great throwback vibe. Nice people watching spot in North Beach.

    elizabeth Scott · March 10, 2010
  • Matt B.

    Get the vodka sweet tea special if they have it. The cirrosis and diabetes will be worth it.

    Matt Barackman · January 15, 2010
  • Amanda M.

    Sit in a booth upstairs. Channel your inner beatnik. Actually probably one of my favorite bars in SF.

    Amanda Macedo · September 10, 2011
  • Hotel F.

    A MUST do in SF. So much history and no matter how many tourists pop in it still feels like our favorite local bar. Mmmmm, Anchor Steam.

    Hotel Frank · March 7, 2011
  • Rohini J.

    Must do if you're in SF. Get the "Jack Kerouac" and their Anchor Steam IPA.

    Rohini Jalan · January 21, 2013
  • Andrea R.

    Grab a book next door at City Lights and read (and drink) yourself silly.

    Andrea Reyna · February 27, 2015
  • Josef R.

    Hmm not convinced. Feels a bit "cheap", drinks below average. Pilsner Urquell on tap though.

    Josef Richter · February 10, 2014
  • David C.

    Try the recession special a small glass of beer ad a shot of whiskey for cheap

    David Craig · April 21, 2012
  • Jenn K.

    Love this place for its cheap Happy Hour pitchers and laid-back vibe.

    Jenn K. · November 7, 2012
  • Fai V.

    Bring a book and some lunch and sit upstairs to people watch.

    Fai Visuthicho · February 26, 2015
  • Chris S.

    This place is rad, and the penultimate dive bar. Protip: sit upstairs

    Chris S · August 7, 2015
  • Robin S.

    Best bar to take visitors in San Francisco. Real atmosphere.

    Robin Sayer · October 18, 2011
  • Tom B.

    Jenny is a sweet bartender and knows the city well. Beautiful too.

    Tom Boone · October 2, 2010
  • Joseph T.

    Joanna is awesone. Loved the Sazerac cocktail!

    Joseph Tinner · February 3, 2015
  • Jake P.

    try and grab a spot upstairs and watch the tourists hang out front.

    Jake Pfaff · December 29, 2010
  • Eric B.

    Great antiquated vintage atmosphere, good drinks.

    Eric Bell · April 6, 2015
  • Andrew R.

    Very cool place. Came on a busy night and had bad service.

    Andrew Rauh · August 6, 2014
  • Gopal H.

    Best bar in SF. Perfect for your most pretentious conversations.

    Gopal Hassin · April 29, 2010
  • Bobby K.

    Great atmosphere, great drinks. Doesn't at all feel touristy.

    Bobby Kennedy · February 15
  • Dan D.

    The $8 Dark & Stormy is better than most $10-$12 drinks North Beach.

    Dan Diiulio · January 28, 2012
  • ✰ David M.

    Go to the second floor, get a window seat and people watch

    ✰ David Mathison ✰ · April 21, 2012

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